1lb 1oz baby born weighing half the size of bag of sugar beat the odds – and now he’s turning one

He weighed the same has half a bag of sugar when he was born at a very delicate 1lb 1oz – but just look at him now.

For a year on, Riley Donoghue is all set to celebrate his first birthday after beating all the odds that stacked up to say his chances of survival were very slim.

The tiny tot spent four and a half months in the special care of the neonatal unit at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital and a further five months on oxygen at home in Brambles Farm. He can now breathe without any aids at all and tops the scales at 16lb 6oz, described by his proud mam Casey as “a cheeky little boy, full of energy”.

Read more: Mum of 6 premature babies determined to give other families support she never had

Last October, Casey, then 20, told Teesside Live more about Riley’s story and how he had beaten the odds every step of the way. He was born last April just 26 weeks in to Casey’s pregnancy, delivered by an emergency C section after a scan had shown the blood flow to her placenta had gone into reverse putting him in danger.

Whisked to intensive care, he was hooked up to oxygen and during his 174 days in hospital underwent surgery twice, on his eyes and to correct hernias, pulling through both operations incredibly well.

Casey has shared some pictures of her beautiful boy with Teesside Live as he prepares to celebrate his first birthday, a milestone they were warned might not happen.



Riley Donoghue after he was born 14 weeks early weighing just 1lb 1oz. He was cared for on the neonatal unit at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

“Riley had all the odds placed against him during pregnancy, getting told he won’t live, our world was crushed,” said Casey. “He spent four and half months in neonatal and then came home.

“Riley is one on April 19 which is a massive achievement for him! He’s reached another milestone that wasn’t expected at birth.

“He only weighed 470g at birth which is 1lb1oz – he now weighs 16lb6oz. He’s a cheeky little boy who is full of energy.

“Riley came home on oxygen and he came off oxygen after being at home for five months. He’s absolutely amazing.”



Picture collage of Riley Donoghue who is about to celebrate his first birthday
Picture collage of Riley Donoghue who is about to celebrate his first birthday

Casey has detailed Riley’s journey in the past and described how the four months he spent in hospital where the hardest of her life. She was full of praise for the care he received and the support from medical teams and family who have been there with him every step of the way.

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